Water
Houston Suburb Under Boil Water Order After Tragic Death of Young Boy

Houston Suburb Under Boil Water Order After Tragic Death of Young Boy

Lake Jackson, Texas, a city in the greater Houston area, is “purg[ing] its water system for 60 days” after a brain-eating amoeba killed a 6-year old boy, NBC News reported. The city is currently under a boil-water notice, and officials have announced that it could take as long as 3 months to make the water safe. 

Why This Matters: There is little data on the risk of this amoeba, says the CDC.  More information is needed on how “a standard might be set to protect human health and how public health officials would measure and enforce such a standard.”

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Mexican Protests Over Water Treaty With U.S. Turn Violent

Mexican Protests Over Water Treaty With U.S. Turn Violent

The Guardian reports that farmers in the Chihuahua region of Mexico are violently protesting their government’s exports of water to the U.S. in the midst of a major drought there.  The protests have been going on for months — they even took over the La Boquilla dam — and the government responded by calling in their national guard to quell them.

Why this Matters: The climate crisis has been worsening droughts in both Mexico and the US, causing water to become an increasingly contested resource.

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EPA Finalizes Wastewater Rule Rollback, Making it Easier for Coal Plants to Pollute

EPA Finalizes Wastewater Rule Rollback, Making it Easier for Coal Plants to Pollute

Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the rollback an Obama-era rule that would have, as the Washington Post reported, forced coal plants to treat wastewater with more modern, effective methods in order to curb toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury from contaminating lakes, rivers, and streams near their facilities. The rollback is in line […]

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What Snow Droughts Will Mean for Western States

What Snow Droughts Will Mean for Western States

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Recent research in Geophysical Research Letters has revealed that “back-to-back bad snow years are likely to become much more frequent in the not-too-distant future,” Alejandra Borunda reported in National Geographic this month. There is now approximately a 7% chance that typically snow-filled regions in the Western US will “get […]

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Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Fires are “ravaging” the biodiversity-rich Pantanal region of Brazil, Jake Spring of Reuters reported Tuesday. In the first fifteen days of August alone, the national space research agency of Brazil recorded 3,121 fires, which is almost five times greater than last year. Already, 6% of the Pantanal burned from January to July due to high temperatures, dry conditions, and high winds.

Why This Matters: As the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal is home to key biodiversity.

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Chicago Announces Plan to Replace Lead Pipes, Michigan to Pay $600M To Flint Victims

Chicago Announces Plan to Replace Lead Pipes, Michigan to Pay $600M To Flint Victims

The New York Times late last night broke the story that the State of Michigan has agreed to pay close to $600 million to victims of the Flint water crisis, in a settlement that will be announced later this week.

Why This Matters:  Children with elevated levels of lead in their blood are more likely to have learning disabilities and increased behavioral difficulties — it causes irreversible damage to children’s development, according to the reportLead is unsafe at any level. It’s time to get the lead out of our environment.

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